Nutrient Stewardship

Nutrient Stewardship

Mosaic's Products Play a Critical Role in Global Food Security


Fertilizer is responsible for 50% of the world’s crop yields, making it possible for farmers to grow enough food to feed a population that is expected to grow to more than nine billion by 2050. When properly managed, fertilizers support cropping systems that provide economic, environmental and social benefits – but when not applied properly, crop nutrients can have impacts on water and air quality. Nutrient stewardship is relevant to Mosaic because we share in the responsibility of reducing the environmental impacts of fertilizer on water resources and the atmosphere.

Access to a clean, abundant water supply is a human right. Agriculture plays a role in improving and protecting water resources. Improper nutrient applications can result in water quality impairments to nearby bodies of water by nourishing harmful algal blooms. But there is also risk to water quality from inadequate fertilization on cropland acres. Undernourished crops have smaller leaves and root systems, offering little protection of the soil from wind and water erosion. If the crop can’t take up the nutrients it needs because of low soil fertility or improper fertilization, there is a greater risk of soil erosion and the potential for accelerated loss of soil nutrients into the environment.

Further, agriculture has the potential to curb effects of climate change. Healthy, fertile soils store carbon and decrease greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. Advanced 4R practices can reduce nitrous oxide (N2O) in the atmosphere by up to 14%, on average, across land resource regions. (International Plant Institute).

Mosaic promotes the 4R Nutrient Stewardship initiative (4Rs) to achieve the yield benefits of fertilizer and reduce nutrient losses to the environment. 4R Nutrient Stewardship is about doing everything “right” in applying fertilizer and effectively reducing agriculture’s potential for negative externalities. 4R Nutrient Stewardship encompasses science-based fertilizer best management practices to achieve specific cropping system goals, including protection of the environment. To achieve those goals, the 4Rs framework promotes a focus on the right nutrient source, at the right rate, at the right time, and in the right place.


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Our sustainability journey continues, and our 2025 targets are representative of where we're headed over the next several years. These targets will guide our efforts as we hold ourselves accountable to measurable progress. We're proud to be a responsible company and a global industry leader in this space.